Self Proclaimed "Power-Crafter" Assembles Dresses Out of Unorthodox Materials

I met Rachel Jayson at a party a few years ago and was immediately drawn to her steam punk/apocalyptic outfit. A musician, Rachel is an orchestra director for Lexington public schools, and a violist in two Boston-based art-rock bands (Jaggery, Walter Sickert & the Army of Broken Toys.) The rest of the time, she's throwing together incredible garments in under 24 hours for her own collection.

She doesn't use any patterns or forms, and has never had any training. "It's 50% planning, 25% winging it, and 25% fixing catastrophes from winging it."

Rachel has one rule: never buy any fabric unless she knows exactly what she's using it for. "This keeps me from becoming a textile hoarder in my tiny, tiny Cambridge apartment," she explains.

"I'm a power-crafter. A maker by way of sheer force. I only make one thing at a time, and it's always immediately after I procure the supplies. My process consists of wandering around a fabric store (often Gather Here in Cambridge) until I find a fabric I love. The bigger/louder/brighter a print is, the more likely I am to need it. Then I sit in the store and stare at the fabric until I can envision exactly what it will be. Because I'm making it up as I go along, I often use unorthodox materials (I've made skirts out of umbrellas and patio-furniture-upholstery-fabric.) Once I've got the stuff... it's an all out sprint to completion. Usually within 24 hours of buying supplies, the garment is done."

This animal print dress took our artist just six hours to make. It is made of 6 yards of fabric, a big yellow jacket zipper, and 16 yards of yellow bias tape. The hem around the bottom is about 40'.

This skirt has a city skape made out of cotton fabric and sewn on outdoor upholstery fabric, which she notes is super stiff and waterproof:

This skirt is made out of an umbrella:

In all photos she's wearing John Fluevog Shoes, a queer friendly brand with a store in Boston.

Follow Rachel @musykchyk on twitter and instagram